The weather here in D.C. calls for nothing other than soup. It’s wet, sticky, a virtual swamp. And gray- very, very gray.
Lucky for me, MarxFoods sent me some chilies to spice things up. MarxFoods has asked several food bloggers to whip up new and interesting recipes using their chilies. They asked me to contribute and generously sent me a variety of dried chilies to experiment with, many I’d never tried before. I sorted through the package of mulato chilies, cascabels, habaneros (whoa!), and japones, but decided on the puya chilies which were described as having a medium heat level with a spicy kick. Perfect.
Aren’t they gorgeous? I fell in love with their deep ruby red color and knew I simply had to have them. And because I crave soup on rainy days, I decided to incorporate these chilies into soup.
I wanted to make a chili oil, so I followed the technique found at MarxFoods blog and put my own spin on it.
I started by blending my little darlings to bits.
And let them infuse in a half cup of olive oil for about five minutes.
Then I added 3 cloves of minced garlic and let it infuse for another 5 minutes, until my whole kitchen smelled of fire and spice.
Then, I poured the oil (chilies, garlic and all) over cubes of bread (crouton sized) to make the chili oil croutons.
I tossed them in the oil to get a good coating and baked in a baking pan for 10 minutes, until toasted.
Inevitably, I touched my fingers to my eyes which nearly blinded me. Making the following a bit of a challenge… and a blur.
The soup. While the croutons toasted, I made soup! On the stove top, I combined 2 cans of cannellini beans (rinsed and drained) with 1/2 a coarsely chopped yellow onion, 2 Tablespoons olive oil and 1 Tablespoon butter.
Once the onions became tender, I added about 3 cups water and a bouillon cube (veggie bouillon) and let it simmer for 20 minutes. To make it smooth, I used an immersion blender to puree.
I topped my inviting bowl of soup with my fancy chili oil croutons and dug in. It was so flavorful, a surprisingly tasty mid week meal. The puya chili oil gave it the perfect amount of warmth.
Oh, and that green you are seeing is a lightening quick blend of basil and parsley (just a few leaves of each) with a glug of olive oil and some lemon juice. It was a spur of the moment element that lightened up the soup a bit. You could definitely incorporate it into a variety of dishes.
Thank you to MarxFoods for inviting me to participate in this food challenge and for supplying the dried chilies used in this recipe!
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